Article: Campus-only access
American Journal of Health Behavior
Objectives: Firefighters are exposed to hazardous conditions as a result of their occupation and often understand the dangers of these toxic exposures; yet, it remains unclear why some refrain from wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) in dangerous situations. We were intrigued by the gap between demonstrated safety knowledge and lack of connection to observed or self-reported safety behaviors, an issue about which there is limited consensus among scholars.
Methods: In a national study of fire service safety climate, 123 firefighters across 12 fire departments participated in 62 interviews and 10 focus groups. Results: Firefighter identity, goal seduction, and situation aversion were the strongest factors of PPE non-compliance, whereas PPE empowerment and individual will promoted PPE use within a fire department.
Conclusions: Understanding situations where PPE use is both practiced and neglected is imperative to improving fire service safety culture. Pee-rpressure and leading by example at the peer and organizational levels appear to be essential considerations firefighters undertake when choosing whether or not to engage in safety behavior.
Maglio, Michael A.; Scott, Cliff; Davis, Andrea L.; Allen, Joseph A.; and Taylor, Jennifer A., "Situational Pressures that Influence Firefighters’ Decision Making about Personal Protective Equipment: A Qualitative Analysis" (2016). Psychology Faculty Publications. 175.